Book of the Month At A Glance — January Adult Picks

Posted December 18, 2019 by stuckint in Book Subscriptions, BOTM / 13 Comments

Well here we are again! The January 2020 adult picks have been confirmed and we are coming at you with exactly what you need to know about each pick to make the choice that is right for you and your reading taste. Whether you want to stay in your comfort zone or try something new, we are here to help!

We made our predictions and were mostly correct save for one. We’re still counting it as a win though since the clues were quite difficult.

If you have always wanted to try Book of the Month, Click here to get your fist book for just $5! Or, enter our giveaway for three free months of BOTM club! All the details are here!

Tightrope: Americans Reaching For Hope by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn
Published by Knopf Publishing Group on January 14, 2020
Pages: 320

The Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of the acclaimed, best-selling Half the Sky now issue a plea--deeply personal and told through the lives of real Americans--to address the crisis in working-class America, while focusing on solutions to mend a half century of governmental failure.
With stark poignancy and political dispassion, Tightrope draws us deep into an "other America." The authors tell this story, in part, through the lives of some of the children with whom Kristof grew up, in rural Yamhill, Oregon, an area that prospered for much of the twentieth century but has been devastated in the last few decades as blue-collar jobs disappeared. About one-quarter of the children on Kristof's old school bus died in adulthood from drugs, alcohol, suicide, or reckless accidents. And while these particular stories unfolded in one corner of the country, they are representative of many places the authors write about, ranging from the Dakotas and Oklahoma to New York and Virginia. But here too are stories about resurgence, among them: Annette Dove, who has devoted her life to helping the teenagers of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, as they navigate the chaotic reality of growing up poor; Daniel McDowell, of Baltimore, whose tale of opioid addiction and recovery suggests that there are viable ways to solve our nation's drug epidemic. Taken together, these accounts provide a picture of working-class families needlessly but profoundly damaged as a result of decades of policy mistakes. With their superb, nuanced reportage, Kristof and WuDunn have given us a book that is both riveting and impossible to ignore.

At A Glance: This is a nonfiction book about the stark reality many blue-collar workers are facing as their jobs, and livelihoods, are swallowed up by developing technologies and growing cooperate monopolies. At the same time, Kristof and WuDunn examine stories of individuals who seek to break the ongoing cycles of poverty in rural America. These real life stories are important and captivating- depicting families and individuals that have been repeatedly failed by government reforms and legislative policies. Kristoff and WuDunn give these people a voice that needs, and deserves, to be heard.

Spine Logo: Yes

Comparable BOTM Titles: Maid by Stephanie Land; On the Clock by Emily Guendelsberger

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
Published by Berkley on February 18, 2020
Pages: 336

The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.
Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn't right at the Sun Down, and before long she's determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…

At A Glance: This is a ghost story in all its atmospheric, spooky glory. If you loved The Broken Girls then you will want to add this one to your January box. It is told in two different timelines: the first follows 20 year old Vivian Delaney who gets a job at the Sun Down Motel in 1982 Fell, New York. It doesn’t take her long to realize that the hotel is haunted, and not just by its weird guests. The second timeline picks up in 2017 with Vivian’s 20 year old niece Carly who finds herself holding the same job that her aunt once did and it doesn’t take long before weird, disturbing things start happening. Reviewers have been raving about this compulsively readable supernatural thriller, its not one to be missed!

Spine Logo: Yes

Comparable BOTM Titles: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding; The Anomaly by Michael Rutger

Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey

Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey
Published by Knopf Publishing Group on January 7, 2020
Pages: 224

For readers of Rachel Cusk, Lydia Davis, and Jenny Offill--a compact tour de force about sex, violence, and self-loathing from a ferociously talented new voice in fiction

Miranda Popkey's first novel is about desire, disgust, motherhood, loneliness, art, pain, feminism, anger, envy, guilt--written in language that sizzles with intelligence and eroticism. The novel is composed almost exclusively of conversations between women--the stories they tell each other, and the stories they tell themselves, about shame and love, infidelity and self-sabotage--and careens through twenty years in the life of an unnamed narrator hungry for experience and bent on upending her life. Edgy, wry, shot through with rage and despair, Topics of Conversation introduces an audacious and immensely gifted new novelist.

At A Glance: Gritty, feminist stories have been a staple of Book of the Month and January 2020 is staying true to course. Topics of Conversation follows a nameless narrator for a twenty year period as she experiences marriage, divorce and motherhood. Each chapter is a snapshot of the nameless narrator’s life, told through experiences and conversations with other people that shape and impact her in irrevocable ways. Smart and honest, Popkey does not shy away from the convoluted but important experiences of self discovery and living one’s truth.

Spine Logo: Yes

Comparable BOTM Titles: Three Women by Lisa Taddeo; The Mothers by Brit Bennett

When We Were Vikings by Andrew David Macdonald

When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald
Published by Gallery/Scout Press on January 28, 2020
Pages: 336

A heart-swelling debut for fans of The Silver Linings Playbook and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Sometimes life isn’t as simple as heroes and villains.
For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules:
1. A smile means “thank you for doing something small that I liked.” 2. Fist bumps and dabs = respect. 3. Strange people are not appreciated in her home. 4. Tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet. 5. Sometimes the most important things don’t fit on lists.
But when Zelda finds out that Gert has resorted to some questionable—and dangerous—methods to make enough money to keep them afloat, Zelda decides to launch her own quest. Her mission: to be legendary. It isn’t long before Zelda finds herself in a battle that tests the reach of her heroism, her love for her brother, and the depth of her Viking strength.
When We Were Vikings is an uplifting debut about an unlikely heroine whose journey will leave you wanting to embark on a quest of your own, because after all...
We are all legends of our own making.

At A Glance: In this compelling debut, Zelda, is a neuro-diverse protagonist who often compares her own life to a viking’s quest as she faces life’s challenges and seeks to understand her place in the world. She is under the care of her older brother Gert, a flawed and relocatable character who simultaneously loves and struggles with his sister’s views of the world and how she chooses to handle certain situations. One of the main points of the book deals with sexual desire and emotional attachment among neuro-diverse individuals. While it is a complex issues, most reviews agree that MacDonald handles the discussion respectfully and in a way that can spark valuable, constructive conversations. This book, with is unique protagonist and discussion of relevant, current social issue among neuro-diverse young adults make this novel a fantastic pick for thoughtful, open book clubs and buddy readers.

Spine Logo: No

Comparable BOTM Titles: The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood; The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd
Published by Atria Books on February 4, 2020
Pages: 384

In the dark underbelly of Victorian London, a formidable female sleuth is pulled into the macabre world of fanatical anatomists and crooked surgeons while investigating the kidnapping of an extraordinary child in this gothic mystery—perfect for fans of The Essex Serpent and The Book of Speculation.
Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.
Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.
Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jars is a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.

At A Glance: To put it simply, Things in Jars is a historucal fantasy, set in Victorian England, which follows a free lance detectiive. She, along with a team of unlikely allies attempt to find a kidnapped girl who may or may not have coveted magical abilities. Reviewers are raving about this slow burn, atmospheric novel and lauding Kidd’s weaving of history with Irish folklore, myths, and legends. Things is Jars is told in two timelines: one following Birdie’s childhood and the other, her current efforts to find and save the highly sought after, magical Christobel. This evocative novel is perfect for fans of gritty historical fiction who take their books with a side of urban fantasy.

Spine Logo: No

Comparable BOTM Titles: The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller; The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

What About You?

Let us know which book(s) you plan to add to your box for January in the comments!

13 responses to “Book of the Month At A Glance — January Adult Picks

  1. Katelyn

    THANK YOU for this breakdown! I can usually tell pretty quickly which books I am going to get, but none of this months titles snatched my attention! With your info I’m gonna pick Sundown Motel! Thanks!

  2. Jessica

    I thought I could pick only one but they all sound good. Thank you for breaking it down. I’ll probably end up with Things in Jar, Topics of Conversation, and When We were Vikings.

  3. Thanks so much for this! I have galleys off Sundown Motel and Things in Jars, and Topics of Conversation sounds interesting, so I think I’m going with that one this month.

  4. Latasha

    I had never even heard of Tightrope and now I really want to get it. Decisions. Decisions. It might be time to bring back my 2nd account.

  5. Lauren Conrad

    Thank you so much for this! I was unsure what I was going to get this month, but now you have helped me pick what I’m getting. I’m going to get Sundown Motel and Topics of Conversation, but they all sound so good this month!

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